Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region rose again, making it the second month of increases. The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank’s latest manufacturing survey came in at 5 for the month of December. The Bloomberg consensus was 6 and the November reading was 9.
While this is still growth, it is slower growth than in November and is not representative of a turnaround taking much hold. New orders were virtually unchanged and shipments grew more slowly. The report actually showed a decline in the employment component, and other indicators were mixed as capacity utilization rose into positive territory but backlogs continued to fall. In short, this is hard to really call growth.
The Richmond Fed Manufacturing report is only one of many regional reports we see throughout the month, and this focuses on manufacturing firms rather than those offering services and nonmanufacturing activity.
We would tell our readers that this report is not that far off enough to matter that much, and we would not even expect this to matter at all on day when European markets are closed.
JON C. OGG